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01 September 2022

HSRC invites experts and stakeholders to participate in the AfCFTA project workshop

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Press Release

Pretoria, Tuesday 30 August 2022 – The Africa Institute of South Africa (AISA) division of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in collaboration with institutional partners, invites the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) experts to participate in a project workshop to be held at the Premier Hotel, Pretoria from 1 to 2 September 2022.

The hybrid workshop is a precursor to the launch of the HSRC-wide research project on, A Trans- Inter, and Multidisciplinary (TIM) approach to delivering the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in collaboration with key national, regional, continental, and international organisations.

The AfCTA is one of the ­fifteen African Union (AU) flagship programmes of Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want. Through this initiative, the African Union (AU) targets to transform Africa into a global powerhouse in over 50 years ending in the year 2063.

According to the HSRC’s Dr Vuyo Mjimba, AfCFTA is a development programme aiming to boost Africa’s trading position in the global marketplace by increasing the depth and breadth of intra-Africa trade in goods and services made on the continent. Essentially, the AfCFTA is about industrialisation, the driver of present-day economic development.

“Against a background of past and present largely unsuccessful efforts to economically develop (industrialise) Africa, the proposed project examines the nature and determinants of this development in the context of the recently (2021) launched AfCFTA programme,” said Dr. Mjimba.

Noting the diversity of knowledge and expertise needed to deliver this programme, the project uses a de novo combination of trans-, inter and multidisciplinary (TIM) approaches to enable the formulation of holistic policy and practice advice.

“This is because the TIM approach moves beyond the boundaries of disciplines by seeking to understand challenges and advance plausible solutions outside the confi­nes of various disciplines and their entrenched views,” he added.

The project is organised in collaboration with AISA in the HSRC, the African Union Development Agency – New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD), the UNESCO Chair on Africa Integration and Innovation, and the Institute for Economic Research on Innovation (IERI) at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT).

The project launch meeting will present project streams focusing on delivering intra-Africa linkages in manufacturing and services.

Broadly, the project comprises four project streams:

  • An investigation of the various means of enhancing the breadth and depth of the current and potential backward and forward manufacturing and service linkages in the agriculture industry value chains in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region
  • Research seeking to develop and apply an integrated approach to understanding and evaluating systems of innovation in Africa to accelerate the continent’s (sustainable) development objectives
  • An interrogation and reshaping of Africa’s health security through advancing novel models to sustainably develop the continent’s pharmaceutical industry and health systems capabilities.
  • An interrogation of national and regional business cultures as determinants of developing and expanding regional business linkages.

The workshop organisers will seek both theoretical and empirical research inputs to the four project streams as contributions to the AfCFTA initiative.

Contributions to each project stream may apply lenses that include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • FDI and critical success factors for integration into African value chains
  • Infrastructure for an economically integrated Africa
  • Research and innovation measurement and policies in Africa for accelerated industrialisation
  • Changes in national sovereignty, economic integration and macroeconomic convergence
  • Business culture as a critical ingredient of economic integration in Africa
  • Political to economically integrate Africa through Trade: a policy perspective
  • Innovation for inclusive development and innovation systems for an economical integrating Africa


The workshop can be attended in person and online. Please indicate your attendance (virtual or physical) when you register. Click Here to register.

For media inquiries:

Dr. Lucky Ditaunyane,

Cell: 0832276074,


Adziliwi Nematandani,

Cell: 0827659191,


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Notes to the Editor

About the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

The HSRC was established in 1968 as South Africa’s statutory research agency and has grown to become the largest dedicated research institute in the social sciences and humanities on the African continent, doing cutting-edge public research in areas that are crucial to development.

Our mandate is to inform the effective formulation and monitoring of government policy; to evaluate policy implementation; to stimulate public debate through the effective dissemination of research-based data and fact-based research results; to foster research collaboration, and to help build research capacity and infrastructure for the human sciences.

The Council conducts large-scale, policy-relevant, social-scientific research for public sector users, non-governmental organizations, and international development agencies. Research activities and structures are closely aligned with South Africa’s national development priorities.

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